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In Hurricane Sandy's aftermath, most of Fire Island's dunescape was flattened, leaving Villages once shielded by imposing walls of sand and vegetation naked to the elements.
The dunes on Fire Island are to its residential dwellings what Fire Island is to the South Shore of Long Island —protection from the sea. Our dunes protect structures and lives on Fire Island from violent ocean swells; Fire Island protects homes, lives, and essential infrastructure on Long Island in essentially the same way. There is little doubt that without Fire Island, the densely populated South Shore of Long Island would have been devastated by Sandy.
In the wake of hurricane Sandy, we were promised assistance without "red-tape". Yet, when as simple and vital an activity to our survival as replenishing lost dune is broached, "red-tape" is unfortunately all we see. For example, to prepare for the November 7 nor'easter it was recommended that we "backscrape" our dune line: a slow and ineffective process of moving sand displaced by the hurricane in the residential district back onto the dune. The more conventional, and far more effective, method of scraping sand directly from the beach onto the dune was prohibited.
But, in today's reality both traditional beach scraping and backscraping are woefully inadequate, as we need much more sand than either method could possibly yield. There is more than enough sand to go around, but Fire Island cannot be forgotten!!